Soon after my announcement that I joined OpenLanguage as content lead I received lots of emails and comments that anticipated I would not do video interviews from now on. Actually, the opposite is the case.
Yes, my new role at OpenLanguage cuts out a nice chunk out of my daily schedule, but I would never quit something I have built over several years “just because” I have a new commitment. I had similar commitments in the past, yet I have always continued with my own projects – nothing new here.
That said and as people often ask me how I can possibly keep up with all the different things I am doing I wanted to share two key principles of my work ethics with you today.
I think, it’s time to give you some updates on what I’ve been up to during the past couple of months. Yes, I am still here – if here means the Internet in general 😉
Honestly, I started too many times with a sentence like “I will blog more often here on KirstenWinkler.com” but we all know how that worked out, right? So, no more promisses – for now.
As if I haven’t had enough on my plate already I joined the team at Today’s Campus as Innovation Editor. Today’s Campus is one of the leading print magazines in the higher education space and now strongly growing its footprint on the Internet. In my new role I am going to interview innovation leaders, movers and shakers in the higher ed space similar to my EDUKWEST series.
Let me also give you a bit of the back story as I think it shows how our education 2.0 and startup world works. André Klein of Learn Out Live also wrote about the “mysterious ways” paying forward on the Internet can lead you to crossroads you would not have thought about in the first place.
It all started with Jon Bischke and eduFire. As you know Jon played a major role of how my blogging career actually started back in 2009. If you remember, eduFire got acquired by Camelback Education back in 2010 and he then introduced me to Steve Cooper, the founder and CEO of Camelback Education. We had some nice chats via Skype over the years but never about something really concrete in terms of working together.
One year ago Steve acquired the Today’s Campus Magazine, and together with Ryan Bush whom he had hired as publisher the magazine grew nicely month over month. And about three weeks ago Steve asked me if I would like to join the team as Innovation Editor. To be honest, it totally came out of the left field but hey, what a great opportunity! So I said yes, eventually.
Below you can watch my first interview featuring Andrew Grauer, co-founder and CEO of Course Hero. Yes, I know you can’t see me but that will be fixed in the upcoming interview. I hope you will enjoy the talk nevertheless.
So, thanks again to Steve, Ryan and the Today’s Campus team for such a great start and giving me the opportunity to work with such a great group of people. And I thank you, my readers, for sticking with me through all these years, I really appreciate it! And there will be a second update, tomorrow. Promised 😉
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes and music videos.
Silence doesn’t mean you’re forgotten. – Duran Duran
I’m happy to announce that our small team of writers at EDUKWEST has grown once more and I have the pleasure to introduce you to Benjamin Stewart who I’m sure is known already in a big part of the online learning world, especially when it come to EFL.
To those among you who are not yet familiar with what he’s doing, here are a few points worth to mention about Benjamin.
For some time now I have been thinking about how to shape the image of both KirstenWinkler.com and EDUKWEST and as you learned I came to the conclusion that with KirstenWinkler.com, I want to return to what it had been in the first place: my personal blog where I put some thoughts out on the various fields I’m interested in.
This means that the news coverage and analysis part of KirstenWinkler.com moves over to EDUKWEST turning the blog from a solely video interview focused site to a vertical news site for education 2.0 with news articles, opinion pieces, video interviews and product tests.
As it’s the beginning of June and thus half the year went by already (as always I feel that January was just a short moment ago) but there is another six months to go before we’ll wrap-up 2011, I thought that today I’d give you some updates and reflections on my work and tell you about the progress of some of the projects.
In my own perception I felt, it would be relatively easy to get an overview on what I’m doing but thanks to the constant exchange with you guys in the comments on kirstenwinkler.com via email or also Skype I learned that there has sometimes been confusion and that is my job to give this whole thing a bit more of a structure, so that you’ll be able to follow the parts of my work you’re particularly interested in more easily.
I had the pleasure of interviewing LearnBoost’s founder and CEO Rafael Corrales on how came up with the initial idea and how he and his team have shaped it until it became what we see today: a nicely made gradebook with pretty design, easy to create & mangage lesson plans, functions to share student progress with the parents and the possibility to integrate with Google Apps.
LearnBoost is currently free to use and I hope you’ll get a good idea of LearnBoost’s capabilities watching our EDUKWEST but essentially you have nothing to lose, so I’d say anyone interested should definitely go and open an account!
I’m particularly happy to share the newest EDUKWEST with you all today as it covers a new new trend that is manifesting itself in online education. What we got out as one of the important results of that recent busuu study is the motivation why people want to invest time and effort in learning a language and that is for travel.
TripLingo is one of the first startups of this new wave of language learning and traveling. TripLingo is based of the initial idea of founder and CEO Jesse Maddox back in the days he was traveling and working in Asia and was then shaped at Startup Weekend Atlanta where he also found his team.
This is a product demo by Robert Gange, co-founder and CEO of Perfect800 taken from our EDUKWEST interview.
Perfect800 is an online training application for students who prepare for the Math part of the SAT. The platform offers tips and tricks for every question, detailed tracking of the progress made as well as game mechanics and rewards to keep the student motivated.
This is a product demo by Matt Messinger, director of learning at StudyBlue during our EDUKWEST interview.
As the tagline of the Wisconsin based startup says, StudyBlue wants to mobilize the notes students take during class and therefore become something like the digital backpack in the cloud as Matt calls it. StudyBlue provides students with a variety of tools including mobile solutions to make note taking, storage of notes and flashcard learning as convenient as possible.
This is a small snippet of my latest EDUKWEST interview with Andreas Schroeter, one of the co-founders of bab.la.
bab.la in a German startup based in Hamburg. The product is built around an online dictionary but it offers a ton of additional features like flashcards, games, a community, embeddable widgets for blogs or websites and various iPhone applications.
Our field reporter George Machlan of Edupunk uploaded a bunch of pretty interesting videos from day 2 of the Startup Weekend in Indianapolis. I am really looking forward to the final presentations and I have to say that I am quite impressed with some of the product ideas.
Also, George is doing an awesome job as interviewer. I think, I am going to contract him for an own show on the KWTV network.
The future Internet TV mogul and founder of the Edupunk Channel George Machlan is reporting for EDUKWEST from the Startup Weekend in Indianapolis.
Actually, I suggested him to go there to mix and mingle with the local startup scene and build some connections with developers and other interesting guys in order to get input for the Edupunk Channel that launched in pre-beta last week on WiZiQ.
In this interview of my EDUKWEST series I talked to Jeffrey Evans, one of the co-founders of MindSnacks which currently launched their iPhone / iPod application for Spanish learners on the iTunes App Store.
This part of the interview was about the typical user of their application, which age they have and if there are issues that the application could be seen as too playful.
In this EDUKWEST interview I talked with Sarah Gontijo, Founder and CEO of the language learning community hello-hello.
It was once more a very interesting and insightful interview and Sarah’s passion for her product really comes through. hello-hello is another great example of how the right team at the right time can basically outdistance competitors which started earlier in the race. Continue reading →
In this EDUKWEST interview I talked to the Co-Founders of YongoPal Darien Brown (CEO) and Jon Hickey (CTO) about their new service.
YongoPal is a platform that is targeting the South Korean ESL market with conversation training. The service connects South Korean university students with American students and aims to train English conversation skills. Continue reading →
Although I have not written about TeachStreet on this blog yet, it is one of my favourite services since I have first heard of them in early 2009. The reason why I did not mention TeachStreet up to now was that they were only available in the US.
But that might change soon and hence you will read more about this company from Seattle from now on over here.